By Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two gunmen are on the run while the mother of a young child has died after being hit by bullets right in front of her daughter.
The shooting victim’s daughter was treated and released from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia late Tuesday night.
Devastated and desperate, the victim’s brother spoke to Eyewitness News outside the hospital.
“I never expected to get this call or have to come this far out of town to come find out that my sister was murdered with my niece in the car witnessing her murder,” Tiwain Canty said.
Canty’s 31-year-old sister, Alisha Canty of Wilmington, Delaware, according to police was in the driver’s seat. Her 5-year-old daughter was in the backseat of a black Honda when bullets began flying. Investigators say Canty took a fatal hit to her chest and her daughter suffered a graze wound to her head.
Lt. John Walker explained, “Over 30 pieces of ballistic evidence, 23 casings are found on scene, so we believe clearly he was the intended target.”
He, police say, is the victim’s boyfriend. According to investigators, Canty was in the 7300 block of Theodore Street in Southwest Philadelphia shortly after 4 p.m. to pick up her boyfriend.
Walker said, “We think he got into the front seat and that’s when two gunmen show up and they start firing. She has no other choice but to hit reverse, but the gunmen continue towards the car, there’s multiple shots into the car.”
Saeedah Harrison added, “Shocked and I went into prayer, that’s all I could do.”
Harrison is Canty’s boyfriend’s grandmother. She says she rushed home just as soon as she heard the news, but was saddened to learn Canty later died at the hospital.
Harrison said, “This is horrible, horrible. It could have been their sister, mother, niece or aunt. I don’t even know what’s it’s about, I have no idea what it’s about but God knows and the individual knows.”
Investigators later found bags of heroine dumped behind the Honda. Police say how or if the drugs motivated the shooting remains under investigation. Whatever the motive, what’s also concerning police is the fact that they have not heard from a single eyewitness.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said, “A child in the line of fire, they absolutely do not care and people need to understand that and the quicker we get them off the street, the better.”
Canty pleaded, “It was a cowardly move. It’s going to be on your conscience until you go to your grave. We’re just asking anybody out there, anybody that witnessed this today. I just need some answers, please.”
Canty says his sister was in the wrong place at the wrong time. We’re told the 31-year-old was a devoted mother who worked hard as a manager at a local Holiday Inn to provide for her five children ranging in age from 1 ½ year-old twins to 14.
At last check, homicide detectives were talking to the victim’s boyfriend who, for the time being, is the sole witness in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to call (215) 686-TIPS.